Your dentist has finished placing veneers on your teeth and they look amazing! There was a chipped tooth on the bottom which now looks perfect with the veneer over it. Or maybe a small gap between your two front teeth has been hidden by veneers on those teeth. And it was all done in one appointment at your dentist’s with a minimal amount of discomfort! The initial adjustment period is over, so what’s next?
Proper care is your responsibility so it’s important to understand how to care for dental veneers. In this article, we will distinguish between porcelain and composite veneers and provide some tips for dental veneer care to help you keep them in the best condition possible for years of fantastic smiles.
What Is the Difference Between Porcelain and Composite Veneers?
Veneers are thin shells your dentist has custom-made for your teeth. They cover the front surface of the tooth, and the color is chosen to match your natural teeth as closely as possible. Dental veneers are used for aesthetic purposes as well as to provide a protective cover for teeth that have minor damage.
With veneers, discolorations, unevenly shaped or sized teeth, crooked or overlapping teeth, damaged teeth, and teeth with gaps between them can be easily corrected. This eliminates multiple dental procedures, saving both time and money.
There are two materials used for veneers: porcelain and composite. It’s helpful for you to know which material is used for your veneers and how they differ from each other:
Porcelain veneers are extremely thin shells of ceramic porcelain that attach to the front of the teeth. They’re made of thin porcelain, are very durable, and more stain-resistant than composite veneers. These veneers can last up to 15 years.
Composite veneers are made from a resin (plastic) material. They are shaped by hand onto the teeth and are good for fixing misaligned teeth or covering cracked teeth. These veneers are less expensive than porcelain and have a shorter lifespan, usually 2 to 5 years.
Regardless of which kind of veneers you choose, the aftercare for both is important.
Tips For Caring For Dental Veneers
Veneers represent an investment in your teeth as well as your self-image. Here are some tips for dental veneer care to help protect your investment:
#1 – Maintain Good Oral Hygiene
Although your veneers don’t come off for brushing and flossing, a good oral hygiene routine is just as important as ever. Brush twice daily and floss once a day so food doesn’t hide between teeth, causing bacteria and plaque.
#2 – See Your Dentist As Scheduled
Your regular dental cleanings and exams are always important, no matter if you have veneers or other orthodontic devices. These visits and cleanings help keep your mouth healthy and your veneers in good shape too. Your dentist can identify small problems before they become large, expensive problems.
# 3 – Eat Carefully
Avoid hard, crunchy foods that can crack the veneers. Don’t chew on candies or ice. Sticky foods should be avoided so you don’t pull off a veneer by accident. Once you are used to the feeling of the veneers on your teeth, you can eat almost whatever you want but don’t bite down too hard on anything.
#4 – Stop Smoking Or Using Tobacco Products
It’s important to quit smoking or reduce your tobacco use before considering dental veneers. It’s well known that smoking and tobacco use can cause serious oral health problems including gum disease, tooth loss, and discoloration of your teeth, so now is a perfect time to quit.
#5 – Drink Water!
The daily suggested amount of water for adults is about 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids a day for men and about 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids a day for women. Adequate water intake will keep you hydrated and the water will help wash away bits of food from your teeth during the day. Avoid sugary drinks and alcohol, as these will lead to dehydration and can add to tooth decay and gum disease.
#6 – Be Careful When Whitening Veneers
Before you begin using any teeth whitening product, ask your dentist for their advice. Veneers can be loosened by the ingredients used in many whitening kits for home use. It’s best to get input based on your specific veneers.
Some people try to use baking soda to clean their veneers or use toothpaste with baking soda listed as one of its main ingredients. Although baking soda does whiten natural teeth, veneers can be discolored or damaged due to the abrasiveness of the baking soda. The same is true of hydrogen peroxide.
Your dentist will probably recommend a non-abrasive gel to clean your veneers without damaging them.
#7 – Don’t Grind or Clench Your Teeth
Grinding or clenching your teeth can wear down your veneers. If you have porcelain veneers, they can be significantly damaged by this habit. Talk to your dentist about treatments to stop grinding or clenching to protect your veneers and your natural teeth.
By following the above tips, you can help your veneers last as long as possible! Now, let’s talk about what you should do if a veneer is damaged.
Repairing Damaged Veneers
First, don’t try to repair a damaged veneer yourself. This isn’t a job you can do at home. The tube of glue you have on hand isn’t suitable for dental use and it could do more harm than good. Your dentist uses a specialized product for attaching veneers. If they can’t see you immediately, they can guide you on what to do in the meantime.
They may be able to reattach the veneer or they may need to replace it. Let them make that decision based on your situation.
We Will Give Your Veneers the TLC They Deserve!
Veneers, whether they are porcelain or composite, can quickly solve many dental issues. After they are placed on your teeth, your smile will be straight, even, and beautiful! And they will stay that way for years if you take care of them, too.
Here at TLC Dental Center, we can help you choose the veneers that best meet your needs and give you a beautiful smile you are proud to show off. We are ready to provide you with the information you need to make the best decision for you, your dental health, and your budget.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment and get started.